Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name





ADHD, FDK, Play-Based, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder; play-based full-day kindergarten; teachers; early childhood educators; ecological systems theory (EST)


Elizabeth Starr




ADHD is one of the most prevalent neurodevelopmental disorders, and the numbers only continue to rise. Early identification is an effective way to reduce the number and severity of behaviours that children may show in elementary school; therefore, Ontario’s play-based Full-Day Kindergarten (FDK) program offers the ideal opportunity to intervene with strategies that will set the child up for social, emotional, and academic success. In conducting this study, the researcher presents and interprets educators’ perceptions of the FDK program and the role the FDK program plays in fostering the parent-educator relationship. Using an Ecological Systems Theory lens, semi-structured interviews were conducted with kindergarten teachers and early childhood educators from multiple cities throughout Southwestern Ontario to obtain their perceptions of Play-Based FDK and ADHD. The data were analyzed using Thematic Analysis (TA) and four themes emerged: 1) Knowledge and Understanding, 2) Benefits and Challenges of Play-Based FDK for Children with ADHD, 3) Strategies Used to Promote Success, 4) Fostering Relationships, and 5) Meeting Child and Educator Needs. These themes encompassed the general lived experiences and knowledge that educators have on the effectiveness of the FDK program for children with ADHD and the role FDK plays in facilitating the parent-educator relationship. Limitations of the study and future areas of research are discussed.